Jan. 05, 2018

Sharing the Journey: New Year’s Resolutions

The Sharing the Journey series is by you and for you. In your own words, we highlight the perspectives and personal experiences of people who struggle with lupus each day.

This month, we asked Sharing the Journey participants the following question:

What are your New Year’s resolutions that you hope to stick to in 2018?

My New Year’s resolution is to take time to myself and really listen to my body, which includes trying to understand my SLE lupus more and being okay with it. Just accepting myself and understanding that it's okay to have days that I can't do everything I want. Giving myself breaks when I need them and not feeling guilty about it. – Ellena G.

My resolutions for 2018 are to take better care of my health and learn new ways to cope with stress. I do not exercise or eat healthy like I should. I also get stressed out easily from working at a hospital and attending college full-time. It is good to be in great health and become stress free when you have lupus because stress can cause you to flare up and relapse which may cause you to end up in the hospital.  – Kyra S.

My resolution is just to remain positive throughout the year. Having a positive mindset affects a lot of things, including health. Being stressed out and not indulging in self-care can affect my health and in turn cause a flare. I had two hospitalizations last year, one on my birthday, and I don’t want to go through that again this year. The goal is to stay out of the hospital this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for me! – Amber O.

My resolution is simple yet so dang difficult for me! I plan to take care of myself before I take care of others.  Being in the social justice/law/community outreach world, you sometimes get so caught up in fighting for everyone else that you don't realize you've neglected yourself until it's too late.  I'm going to do better, so that I can be better. – Kayla B.

I have always thought that New Year’s resolutions are very clichéd and most people end up giving up on theirs. I have always just looked at the New Year as a fresh start to be better in ALL areas with no specific goal in mind. Having lupus can make it especially challenging when you set goals and then don’t meet them due to feeling bad. Overall, I would like to be more flexible and accepting of my illness when things don’t go my way. I also want to make more of a point to travel with my family, since this is what makes me the most happy and content. – Roxi A.

For my New Year’s resolution I want to pledge to eat healthier and have that lead to my overall health improving. I have been going to the gym regularly and have been starting to make better eating choices. I hope to continue this pattern in hopes to see an improvement in my lupus as well. Happy New Year! – Kylie K.

In 2018, I’m going to focus on healthy food choices. As a typical college student, I often just eat whatever sounds good or is easy to make. This seems efficient at the time and I usually burn off the calories with my active lifestyle. But the food I eat doesn’t always make me feel great or give me the energy to perform my best. What you eat affects how you feel and how much you are able to do. I am excited to see how much more I can achieve when I make an effort to spend a little extra time making healthy choices and cooking great food. With an unpredictable disease like lupus that can often make me feel sick for no reason, I like to find things like food that I can control and that directly impact how I feel day to day. – Becca M.

As always, I am keeping up with walking and exercise which I could not do when I was initially diagnosed due to significant heart valve damage and, now after 39 years and with my lupus healed and no evidence of autoimmunity in my system, my valves are stable partly due to regular aerobic exercise. I have decided to continue with the basic diet that I settled into that was developed for folks with autoimmune conditions by a doctor who had disabling MS and was able to regain function through diet. It involves eating lots of veggies, especially the broccoli family as well as all the colors of veggies and also fruits. I have done it with a Mediterranean diet format and very few carbs, gluten free and sugar free. The other thing that I strongly suggest is that we find ways to love ourselves. Feel into our hearts and send that love into our own hearts and also to areas of pain and take control rather than be controlled. – Betsy H.